Natural gas plays a key role in the nation’s energy future. EPA is working closely with other federal partners to ensure that this important resource can be developed safely.
“This is an important part of a process that will use the best science to help us better understand the potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water,” says Paul Anastas, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Research and Development. “We’ve met with community members, state experts and industry and environmental leaders to choose these case studies. This is about using the best possible science to do what the American people expect the EPA to do – ensure that the health of their communities and families are protected.”
The studies, which will take place in regions across the country, will be broken into two study groups. Two of the seven sites were selected as prospective case studies where EPA will monitor key aspects of the hydraulic fracturing process throughout the lifecycle of a well.
These areas are located in:
Haynesville Shale – DeSoto Parish,
- Marcellus Shale – Washington County, Pa.
Bakken Shale – Kildeer and Dunn
Shale – Wise and Denton Counties,
Shale – Bradford and Susquehanna
Shale – Washington County, Pa.
- Raton Basin – Las Animas County, Colo.
EPA invited stakeholders from across the country to participate in the identification of potential case studies through informational public meetings and the submission of electronic or written comments. Following thousands of comments, more than 40 case studies were nominated for inclusion in the study. The case studies were identified, prioritized and selected based on criteria that included proximity of population and drinking water supplies to activities, concerns about impaired water quality (retrospective only) and health and environmental impacts (retrospective only), and knowledge gaps that could be filled by the case study. Sites were prioritized based on geographic and geologic diversity, population at risk, site status (planned, active or completed), unique geological or hydrology features, characteristics of water resources, and land use.
To view the draft study plan and additional information, visit http://www.epa.gov/hydraulicfracturing.